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SSD possible addition with OEM windows?

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December 19, 2012 2:20:22 PM

Recently built my first PC, used mainly as a HTPC with some light to moderate gaming, nothing too intense.

I've read on these boards that OEM win7 is locked to the mobo, so if I add a SSD to the computer, can I re-install on a new drive? Or am I out of luck because I didn't get the retail version of windows?
And, will there be a significant difference in boot-up time and program loading times by using a SSD? Total noob to all this, just glad everything worked as advertised when I plugged it in.

System specs:
ASRock FM2 A85x Extreme6
A10-5700
G.Skill Ares 8 GB at 1866
WD 1 TB HDD 7200 rpm
530w PSU
Win7 Home Premium 64 bit [OEM]
planned... fanless 6670 to crossfire with APU
December 19, 2012 2:33:13 PM

I'm obviously new to searching forums as well as building pc's. :??: 
Thanks for the reply, now I will research further there.
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a b G Storage
December 19, 2012 2:37:53 PM

I have not confirmed but my co-worker mentioned that Windows 8 OEM now ties itself to the HDD instead of the MOBO.
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a b G Storage
December 19, 2012 2:56:44 PM

FWIW.......I was/am not blown away by the speed of my SSDs. They are faster, yes. But reports from users and especially OEM claims are exaggerated IMHO. Actually, this doesn't matter to me since I believe the compelling reason to use an SSD is reliability. The added speed does not justify the added cost. You'll only notice it for the first few days on booting and program launch and then it becomes "normal".
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December 19, 2012 3:00:35 PM

Appreciate the input. I guess I was so excited about my first build, just wanted to make it "better." Maybe I'm jumping the gun on a SSD.

On a related note, I will never buy a pre-built pc again.
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a b G Storage
December 19, 2012 3:42:55 PM

I have to disagree, I do not find it to be exaggerated. I am on a work PC with a dece processor and RAM, but my boot up speed is probably 5+ times slower than my SSD powered PC at home. I definitely think it justifies the extra cost, and if they find away around the eventual size limit, will be the future of data storage. Sure, offline and near-line storage may stay mechanical, but at some point the prices will be comparable and I cannot imagine they will still sell mid-range pre-builts without an SSD. Also, I threw dishonored on my SSD and was only disappointed with the fact that I do not get to read any of the game tips provided on the loading screen, because there is practically no load time lol.

Also, another plus with the SSD for me is that because boot/shut down times are so fast, I generally just turn my PC off when using it, saving the overall life of the rest of my components!
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December 19, 2012 3:58:06 PM

chugot9218 said:
I have not confirmed but my co-worker mentioned that Windows 8 OEM now ties itself to the HDD instead of the MOBO.

Couldn't find anything in regards to changes for Windows 8 specifically.
http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/p...
If you do find something can you please re-post. I'm assuming it's the same, but like to know if there are changes. Thanks!
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a c 353 G Storage
December 19, 2012 4:00:35 PM

Boot times, as measured from "starting OS" till first program opens (word, or IE):
Windows 7 - approx 15 Sec give or take a couple.
Windows 8 - approx 8 Sec.

Note On OEM version:
Win 7 - Tied to MB first installed on, can NOT be moved to a "upgrade MB" - CAN BE moved to new MB if orginal MB DIES.
Win 8 - Restriction removed MAY BE MOVED to a new computer ie you sale old computer, remove OS and buy New computer. (Ofcoarse can only be installed on ONE computer), still retains the NO uSoft support.
My take - Have SSDs on three laptops and three DESKtops - NO way would I go back to a Mechanical HDD for OS + programs.
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a b G Storage
December 19, 2012 4:26:07 PM

I could not track down any specifics at the moment, but I will keep looking and post if I find anything.
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a b G Storage
December 19, 2012 4:58:54 PM

ram1009 said:
The added speed does not justify the added cost. You'll only notice it for the first few days on booting and program launch and then it becomes "normal".


I said the same thing when I got rid of my Pentium2. Imo, if you don't have a budget restriction, an SSD makes a nice addition to any build. It reduces boot time drastically, and eliminates the "loading" time once you reach the desktop before you can actually use the computer, and it improves the general responsiveness of the computer. For games, it reduces level load times (depending on the games you play this could be huge or negligible), but no real fps benefits.

For ~100$ you alleviate one of the biggest bottenecks in a PC, which is a pretty good value in my opinion, as long as you are not sacrificing other components that are crucial to your primary use to get it (such as the GPU in a gaming machine).



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December 19, 2012 5:06:57 PM

I love my SSD. My only challege is my work PC is HDD and a slow internet. I will NEVER own another PC with the OS on an HDD. NEVER EVER.

My SSD is one of my favorite parts of my build !!
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December 19, 2012 5:23:50 PM

ram1009 said:
FWIW.......I was/am not blown away by the speed of my SSDs. They are faster, yes. But reports from users and especially OEM claims are exaggerated IMHO. Actually, this doesn't matter to me since I believe the compelling reason to use an SSD is reliability. The added speed does not justify the added cost. You'll only notice it for the first few days on booting and program launch and then it becomes "normal".


In terms of sheer transfer speed, there's no doubt that SSD's are faster for sequential data. It's generally faster for random access too. Physically speaking, HDDs can sustain throughput that would barely saturate SATA1, let alone SATA3, and we're talking about commercial 10k and 15k drives. Of course most data is not sequential so that's where SSD's far superior seek time comes into play.

But the biggest improvement is in the perception of speed. The average user will base "speed" on a couple things- how long it takes to boot to interactivity and how long it takes to open a program.

SSD boot time when comparing the same number of services, devices, etc is about a third or less than that of a HDD. A lot of this is attributable to the fact that the services are able to start so much faster with an SSD. Which brings us to app start time, which is far faster with SSD. If the data is sequential, the SSD's throughput ensure the data gets to the processor much faster. If the data is random read, then the superior seek time will improve app starting speed. In my experience, my desktop boots to interactivity in about 15 seconds compared to more than a minute before. Apps generally launch in 2-3 seconds. It makes it feel like when I want to use my machine, it's ready to go. To put it another way, in Win 8, after the bios boots, the little circle of dots during windows start up only goes around twice before I get the tiles. with the HDD, it might go around 8 or 9 times, which represents about 30 or 40 seconds more waiting and then the tiles don't appear for several seconds after that.

One other advantage to SSD that no one seems to ever talk about is that if your computer starts to page to disk, the SSD's superior performance will reduce the amount of time the computer is paging. That generally means less beach balls (mac) or less hourglasses (win).
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December 19, 2012 7:32:58 PM

Ok, I'm leaning towards getting one. Can't find a thread for my next question, so does anyone know how to do this?

Do I copy and paste everything from HDD (still new and very little on it other than OS) to SSD, then re-format HDD?

I'm guessing it's a little more complicated then that, so maybe I have to re-install OS and programs on new SSD, or use some kind of utility? Looking for recomendations for the experts (you guys!!!) :) 

Ultimate plan is to have OS and most commonly used programs on a ~120 GB SSD, and use the 1 TB HDD for everything else, especially music and movies
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December 19, 2012 8:24:13 PM

You could use something like acronis true image to clone the hdd to the ssd and then check out that article I linked to to make sure the partition alignment was good. I did that for my wife's laptop and it technically works. That said, she's had some issues (maybe related to that process, maybe not) and we're planning to wipe the SSD and do a clean install.

Once your SSD is running, and you have transferred everything you need from the HDD to the SSD, then you can reformat the HDD and mount it.

If you clone the SSD from the HDD, you could also format the HDD at this point, copy any important files to the HDD, and in case you have issues and want to do a clean install on the SSD, your files are already backed up.
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a b G Storage
December 20, 2012 12:54:29 PM

Imaging software is convenient, but you don't get the same 'new car' feeling as you do from a clean install, and there are some internal windows settings that don't get configured for the SSD when you reimage (or that is my understanding).

Be sure to put your motherboard's sata mode to AHCI (instead of IDE) if needed before installing windows. AHCI will have much better performance than IDE mode. See my link below for more info.

Typically, the best way to use the new SSD is to remove your old hard drive (exporting things like favorites and contact lists first is a good idea), install the SSD then do a clean install of windows to it. Then reattach your old hard drive and copy your personal files over (you should keep them in two places, don't assume your new drive will be failure free), you'll have to reinstall your programs manually, and transfer the settings you can. (I personally would recommend not formatting the old HDD unless you backup all your data to an external drive first, the only benefit to formatting is it will clean up some of the unused files from the previous windows install scattered through the drive)

Once you are happy with your new install (I'd suggest waiting a week or two at least), you can delete the Windows, Program Files, etc folders, but keep your old Users and ProgramData (possibly rename them so you don't mix up the two drives).

Aside from the AHCI mode I mentioned above, these tweaks are done after installing windows. Many will save you a good amount of space (Disabling system restore, hibernate, and moving the page file), only do the one's that you feel comfortable with:
http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/...

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December 20, 2012 4:29:17 PM

IMO, as long as you have the original activation key (it should be printed on a sticker somewhere on the case), you have no worries with either Win7 or Win8, even with a new MB AND HD. I learned this first when I wanted to re-install a "clean" OS on my old Dell, meaning I'd use an .ISO file from the official Microsoft website and then have to reactivate the computer. I did this with a brand new SSD and had no trouble. Next, I really confirmed this when I replaced the motherboard on another OEM computer, re-installed Win7 from an .ISO again, and used the original mobo's activation key. That required using their automated phone activation service, but that's no big deal.

As long as you use the exact same version of the OS that had been there before, you can transfer the authorization from one computer signature in their system to another. Of course the first will no longer work, so this isn't going to help anyone looking to get a freebie, but it does make life easier when moving around components or upgrading systems all the time. I know there is some limit to how many times you can use the phone system to do this (as there should be- I don't think they intended to sell an OS to be used on every computer I own for life), but it's something like five or ten times I believe. Nothing a normal user would ever exceed.
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a b G Storage
December 20, 2012 6:10:09 PM

ocmusicjunkie said:

[...]
That required using their automated phone activation service, but that's no big deal.
[...]
I know there is some limit to how many times you can use the phone system to do this (as there should be- I don't think they intended to sell an OS to be used on every computer I own for life), but it's something like five or ten times I believe. Nothing a normal user would ever exceed.


It's actually quite surprising just how helpful Microsoft phone support is. I had to call just yesterday because I had done a clean install on a new SSD for my laptop, using upgrade disks; the automated system rejected me, but they didn't give me any trouble over the phone when I got to a real person. (My stomach was turning at the thought of installing the Asus backup image of vista to the laptop so that I could reinstall Windows 7 on top of it. eww).

While licenses and such are can be restrictive/annoying, they seem more than willing to help you get around any licensing issues you have from buying the wrong version of the OS. (Which is smart, many people don't know any better when buying these things and aren't trying to cheat the system, if they told them all to buy a new copy there would probably be many more macs floating around).
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a c 353 G Storage
December 20, 2012 8:44:49 PM

djscribbles - You could have folloowed the procedures for doing a Clean install using win 7 upgrade disk and save the phone call. Have done many a re-installs and not had to call once. And Yes I've found uSoft very helpfull. Only have ever had to call once and that was when I had to reinstall win 7 on wife's system using a "family upgrade Lic - It indicated I had it installed on more than 3 computers.
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December 21, 2012 4:39:23 PM

djscribbles said:
It's actually quite surprising just how helpful Microsoft phone support is.


I've yet to have a need to find out, but that's good to know. It's slightly less frustrating to think about the cost of their software when I actually have confidence that a good portion of that is allocated toward legitimate customer support services for the product.

In general, I get the feeling that MS doesn't like the practice of having to put all these annoying measures in place as a means of activating their products. If you talk to a real person and they can tell you aren't distributing crates of pirated Windows discs, I imagine they don't have much reason to hassle customers. All the run-around is just what's required to keep the digital piracy limited to the already incredible rate it occurs.
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